£25 million in illegal drugs seized in cross border operation

The Serious Organised Crime Taskforce has carried out a cross border operation which saw Police Scotland arrest 59 suspects and seize more than £25 million in illegal drugs in recent weeks.

Thursday, 2nd July 2020, 4:30 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd July 2020, 4:58 pm
Hundreds of officers executed more than 50 warrants as part of Operation Venetic. Photo: John Devlin

Weapons, laundered cash, and industrial pill presses were also seized while six stolen vehicles and a motorcycle were recovered.

Hundreds of officers executed more than 50 warrants as part of Operation Venetic, acting on intelligence from the National Crime Agency with support from Border Force.

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf, chair of the Scottish taskforce, said: “This has been one of Police Scotland’s most significant operations, combining the knowledge and resources of local policing with the service’s enhanced national capabilities.

“It also underlines the importance of continued cross-border co-operation in law enforcement, as well as the value of the partnerships forged through Scotland’s Serious Organised Crime Taskforce and our highly-prized Scottish Crime Campus.

“Once again the professionalism of Scotland’s police officers and support staff is evident in disrupting criminal activities and reducing the harm and misery inflicted on our communities.

“Partners on the Taskforce are resolute in their determination to use all means available to disrupt and dismantle serious organised crime.

I would urge anyone with any information about, or suspicions of organised crime in their area to contact the police or to do so anonymously through Crimestoppers.”

Lord Advocate James Wolffe QC added: “This operation highlights the value of partnership working between the agencies which take part in the Serious Organised Crime Taskforce. Those agencies will continue to use all the means at their disposal to target organised crime groups.

“The operation also demonstrates the substantial benefits which we derive from international co-operation between law enforcement agencies in Scotland and those of other countries –  benefits which help to ensure the safety and security of people living in Scotland.

“The Crown will continue to work with its partners in the Taskforce and across the justice sector to disrupt serious and organised crime.”